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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


MORAES, Claudia Leite de; APRATTO JUNIOR, Paulo Cavalcante  and  REICHENHEIM, Michael Eduardo. Breaking silence and its barriers: a household survey on domestic violence against the elderly within the scope of a Family Health Program in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.10, pp.2289-2300. ISSN 1678-4464.

The objective of this paper was to study the prevalence of domestic physical violence against the elderly in an area covered by the Family Health Program in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Using a household survey, 322 subjects 60 years or older were randomly selected from the census of seniors assigned to six health teams. Violence against seniors was detected by means of the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS1). Physical violence in general was reported by 10.1% (95%CI: 6.7; 13.4) of interviewees, whereas 7.9% (95%CI: 4.9; 10.8) referred having been victims of severe physical violence in the preceding year. Violence was more frequent: against the "younger" elderly; in larger households; and against seniors with a history of diabetes and/or arthritis. The extent of violence against the elderly, even higher prevalence among those with other vulnerabilities, and its negative health consequences highlight the need for measures to deal with the problem within routine activities under the Family Health Program.

Keywords : Elder Abuse; Domestic Violence; Family Physicians; Health Surverys; Primary Health Care.

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